Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Los Angeles County, California v. Rettele case brief

Los Angeles County, California v. Rettele case brief summary
127 S. Ct. 1989 (2007)

Respondent residents of a home brought an action against petitioners, sheriff's deputies, alleging that the deputies unreasonably executed a search warrant for suspects who formerly lived at the home. Upon the grant of a writ of certiorari, the deputies appealed the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which held that the conduct alleged by the residents was unreasonable.

The residents recently purchased the home and asserted that, although they were not the same race as the suspects being sought under the warrant, the deputies ordered the residents to get out of their bed and remain unclothed until the deputies determined that the suspects were not present.


  • The U.S. Supreme Court held that the execution of the properly issued warrant by the deputies was not unreasonable. 
  • Regardless of the difference in race, when the residents were ordered from their bed the deputies had no way of knowing whether the suspects were elsewhere in the home. 
  • Further, one of the suspects was reported to be armed, and the deputies were justified in ordering the residents from the bed, and refusing to allow them to dress for a brief period, in order to insure that no weapons were concealed in the bedding or elsewhere.

The judgment holding that the search was unreasonable was reversed, and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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